Ciao from Italy!
Simply stronger together...
By Chiara Repetto (December 2020)
As you may have heard, the Italian office has existed for more than 20 years. It’s a completely unique case. In some countries, we only have salespeople working alone. In Italy, Saint-Gobain kept the complete structure of the Italian distributor acquired many years ago by Furon, before becoming Omniseal Solutions.
With some exceptions, like Luciano, many people have changed over the years. Personally, I have worked in the office for almost 13 years! The size of the team, however, remained the same size (approx. 10 people). Also, we have always lived as a kind of separate small entity, both compared to the Omniseal Solutions sites and compared to the Italian Saint-Gobain entity that we belong to. Kind of like the satellites we work with and that speaks with our space applications - connected with the earth but moving independently.
More recently we have encountered other changes (positive ones) and that is the story I have for you, to show our spirit - who we truly are.
With the acquisition of American Seal & Engineering, we welcomed new people to the team. They had their own site and even a small stock to handle (though no production). Management decided to combine everything and everyone into one place. This will save money and create a single group.
Due to covid-19 and associated travel restrictions, the practical decisions and implementation of the changes have been left to us in Italy.
Without complaining too much, we started to discuss and act. We decided to keep the original office for the moment; we transformed one room into a small temporary stock (especially thanks to Luciano and Riccardo) and cleaned and trashed a lot of stuff. We set up new routines and implemented duties to handle deliveries and goods pick-ups. We even decided that why not, we could use the occasion of the ongoing change to look outside for a bigger longer-term solution.
As a result, I currently have a second role, supported by Alessio and Viviana. We started in May 2020, first talking to rental agencies to identify new potential places. Now, we are in deep discussions with an architect to finalize a project for the 2 best options we found - to finally choose our new working “home.”
We didn’t rely on others, on a generic bigger entity (“the Company”) to do that for us. We simply said: there is something to do, let’s do it. This phrase “let’s do it” and especially “let’s do it together” describes the spirit in Italy in a few short words: pragmatic and hands-on. It is this spirit that made us so successful in the past and that I am sure will make us even stronger and more successful in the future. Don’t get me wrong, the Italian office is not heaven. We are far from being perfect, we are not always in good harmony… we fight as families do ... but we care about our small group and finally are … simply stronger together.